Week One at Topper

On Monday May 11th, a group of MSU undergraduate and graduate students along with Dr. D. Shane Miller embarked on a four and-a-half week long survey field school near the Topper site in Allendale County, South Carolina. Two other undergraduate students, Anita Lehew (South Carolina) and Janaka Greene (West Georgia), joined the crew at the site later that evening.

On Tuesday, the students were instructed by graduate students Kelsey Meer and Ryan Young on how to properly dig a shovel test as well as how to perform a soil texture analysis. Later on that day, the group received a tour of the Topper site from Dr. Al Goodyear, emeritus professor of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina.

The group worked extremely hard and completed a total of 123 shovel tests during the first week of survey; a vast majority of which were positive. Additionally, the group also located several areas that may contain intact and deeply stratified deposits, which may later be expanded into 1X2 m excavation units.

image-2 Ariel Johnson, MSU (shoveling) and Anita Lehew, USC (screening)

image-3 Janaka Greene, West Georgia (using Trimble), Charles (screening)

image-4 Brittany Higgs, Nikki Wu (using Munsell), Duval Lawrence

On Saturday, the group was treated to a movie by Dr. D. Shane Miller for all of their hard work. Later on that evening, the group enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the home of Dr. David G. Anderson, professor of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, in Williston, South Carolina. The group looks forward to continuing shovel testing next week!

image-1 MSU survey field school at the movies in Aiken, SC

image Dinner at Dave Anderson’s house in Williston, SC

Ryan Young

Bioarchaeology Graduate Student


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